DECLARATION ON DONALD
WHY I VOTED FOR TRUMP
My name is William Brian Franken. I hold a Master’s degree in Restoration and 18th Century British Literature with summa cum laude honours from Southwest Missouri State University. I've had academic papers on Jonathan Swift, James Joyce, William Blake, as well as editorial commentaries on the farces of 18th Century playwrights David Garrick and Colley Cibber published in such literary journals as the Huntington Library Quarterly. Additionally, I’ve written political and cultural essays for Spiked, the Independent, the Federalist and sundry others publications. After leaving academia in my mid-twenties, I became a satirical, character-based comedian whose unique style, heavily British-influenced, has been celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic from the New York Times to the Guardian. Despite this colourful intellectual and artistic pedigree, however, I am also one of Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables”.
II. ECONOMIC POLICY: WALKING AWAY FROM NAFTA
I was born into a working-class background in a small town in the Midwest of America. As a young man, I saw first-hand the negative effects of the NAFTA-style economic policies Hillary Clinton currently espouses – just as her husband did before her – in which vital industries were gutted and farming and manufacturing jobs outsourced. Consequently, I approve of any plan to penalise companies who wish to relocate outside the United States for the purposes of cheaper labour and tax-dodges, such as the tariff-based system proposed by Donald Trump.
III. ENDING VA CORRUPTION AND CARING FOR THE NATION’S VETERANS
My father, William Dale Franken, was not only an independent builder and mechanic, he was also a Vietnam veteran. Early on in life, I was disgusted to hear how he and his fellow servicemen had been labelled "baby-killers" upon their return from combat. My grandfather before him, William George Franken, had also seen combat as part of General Patton’s tank corps in World War II, a time when gratitude for the nation’s military was more widely expressed. I have always felt a deep admiration for military veterans and the sacrifices they were called upon to make. And I have been disgusted with the treatment of veterans in the United States for many years now, particularly in regards to the ongoing Veterans Administration scandals. Therefore, I am very much in favour of Donald Trump’s promise to clean out the corruption there and offer veterans the care and support that are owed them. Without their protection, the West is nothing – ungrateful though the West may be for the very freedoms these men and women were called upon to protect.
IV. REBUILDING THE US MILITARY: ENDING SEQUESTRATION
My support for veterans also extends to an overall support for the US military. I believe America needs a strong national defence and, to that effect, the defence sequestration that began under Obama must be overturned by Trump. The nation’s armed forces need to be better equipped and modernised under the aegis of Ronald Reagan’s model of “Peace Through Strength”; a motto which Trump has echoed often on the campaign trail. America does not need a military more concerned with diversity training than combat training – an Orwellian prospect guaranteed to continue under a new Clinton administration.
V. RUGGED INDIVIDUALISM: NO MORE DIVERSITY BOX-TICKERS
Later in life, when I attended university – on my own dime, I should mention – I witnessed the encroaching split between traditional academia and the snobbery of reverse-racism multiculturalism which relegated feelings over facts. Not only did I feel it demeaned the very education I was paying for, I also justly resented the broad-brush painting of my demographic as inherently racist and oppressive, especially given my modest upbringing. I regarded such rhetoric as blatant lies and self-serving ivory tower propaganda and fought against it every chance I had. I am not interested in a presidential candidate who will serve as diversity box-ticker and regard their voters as nothing more than their skin colours, their sexual preferences, or their genders. I want a candidate to whom race, gender, and sexual preference is incidental and not integral to the character of their voters. I believe this candidate is Donald Trump.
VI. EDUCATION: ENDING COMMON CORE
In my early twenties, I moved to New York City and became an inner-city school teacher. Any remaining vestiges of sympathy I may have had for liberal progressivism died during my employment there. As a middle-school teacher in Harlem at what was described by the NY Post as the 2nd worst school in New York City, I witnessed an utter degradation of the educational system made possible through liberal policies that had stripped standards from the curriculum and essentially turned teachers into babysitters instead of educators. There, I was also privy to the crookedness of a teacher's union that consistently took extortionate dues and never made any attempt to instigate meaningful change that would serve the teachers, their students, and the principles of education more generally. At the close of the school year, when two-thirds of the students failed the government-issued standardised test by receiving a "1" or a "2" instead of a "3" or a "4", all faculty members received a letter from the superintendent stating that – for the purposes of the school’s "social promotion" policy – a "2" was now to be considered a "3". (2 + 2 = 5, anyone?) Therefore, I am strongly in favour of Donald Trump's plan to reinstitute freedom of choice in education by eliminating Common Core.
VII. THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN CANDIDATE: REBUILDING THE INNER CITIES
When I moved to New York City for the first time, I had little disposable income and thus rented a cheap place in Harlem, near to the school at which I taught. I was the only white guy in my building as well as my neighbourhood. There, I was welcomed by the residents, ribbed gently about my skin colour, and invited to many a homecooked meal. Meanwhile, I found a great disconnect growing between myself and liberal friends, who would pay up to 2,000 dollars extra a month to live away
from blacks and would never cross north of 110th Street to visit me. On both coasts, from Harlem to West Oakland, I have worked in deprived ghettos and I have lived in deprived ghettos. I have seen first-hand how – just as globalist policies like NAFTA have gutted the working-class communities of small-town America – the lowered expectations for inner-city minorities promulgated by modern liberalism – in terms of education, prosperity, and government welfare-dependency – are not only economically damaging but culturally racist. It is audacious for liberals to demand any longer, based upon decades of empirical evidence, that minorities should act as one single-minded voting bloc. When Donald Trump says to the African-American communities to vote for him because, “what do you have to lose?”, I believe he makes a more than compelling argument.
VIII. LAW ENFORCEMENT: ENDING THE NEW BLACK PANTHERS
Throughout my years in Harlem, I was also privy to the race-baiting agitation of Al Sharpton who, along with Tawana Brawley, concocted a fictitious rape and battery to besmirch the entire New York City Police Department as “systemically racist”. Over the past eight years of the Obama administration, Al Sharpton has visited the White House countless times in an advisory capacity on “race relations”. I am for any candidate who will deprive such violence-promoting hucksters of access to the upper echelons of the US government. America does not need a Black Panthers-cum-Black Lives Matter divisive mentality anymore. And the country can certainly do without a political rhetoric implying all the nation’s police officers are racists and potential murderers. There was a fork in the road for the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Martin Luther King had it right and Malcolm X had it wrong. We need a leader who will not live in the shadow of the separatist Malcolm X, but the integrationist Martin Luther King. I believe Donald Trump will steer America away from the deceptive dogma of doctrinal diversity.
IX. GROWING SMALLER BUSINESS AND ENDING LARGER CORRUPTION
In the last year of my first stint in New York City, I earned money doing occasional voiceovers and televised commercial spots. During that time, I ran afoul of the Screen Actors Guild, who were upset that a non-union actor was being cast in these roles. I was summoned to what amounted to a McCarthy-esque hearing in front of an austere panel of Guild representatives. On the table in front of me was a large manila envelope with the word “Franken” written across it. As things turned out, the casting directors had sold their lists of auditioning actors to the union, following the resolution of a strike that none of the non-union actors had been aware of – since we were, after all, not in the union. The panel demanded I give them information on other non-union actors who had auditioned with me and I refused. Consequently, a ban was placed on my ability to ever join the union. Given my experiences there, the inefficacy of the teachers’ union before that, and my father’s ongoing struggles as an independent contractor against the monolith of the larger labour unions, I have always held a healthy scepticism in regards to collectivisation. I believe that although there was a time when unions were not only effective but necessary, greed and corruption have led many of them to neglect their initial principles. I support the growth of smaller independent businesses and the dissolution of larger monopolies, no matter how appealing their platitudes of “togetherness” may seem. More importantly, I believe in justice. To that effect, I would gladly welcome a candidate intent on exposing, prosecuting, and eradicating corruption in such entities, be they governmental or non-governmental organisations. I feel Donald Trump is such a candidate.
X. UNITING THE NATION: RACE DIVIDES, ECONOMICS UNITE
Depressed and discouraged after my blacklisting, I relocated for a year to the southern hospitality of North Carolina where I found, incidentally, race relations to be much better down in the conservative south than they had ever been up in the liberal north. There is a great misconception that there is no class struggle in the United States. This is because it is easier for American politicians to make everything about race, which cannot be changed. Whereas class – in the American sense of succeeding from humble beginnings – ostensibly can. When economic conditions are the same for everyone, such as amongst the poor in Missouri or North Carolina, there is considerably less racial tension – unless it’s being fanned by propagandists and politicians, as it currently is under Obama. Donald Trump is a billionaire who has gathered a strong tide of support from the struggling working classes of America and, in that sense alone, has already bridged a great divide. Midwesterners and Southerners who would normally be suspicious, if not outright contemptuous, of a rich New Yorker, have warmed to him because they believe he has their best interests at heart. And I am one of them.
XI. WHO BETTER THAN A BUSINESSMAN?
I am not a communist and therefore I do not judge all wealthy people as inherently evil. It matters not to me that Donald Trump was given a financial start from his father. If my father had been in the same position to do so, I certainly would not have refused the help – and neither would anyone who says otherwise. Just as no one in his position would have neglected to take advantage of the tax code that Hillary Clinton herself approved as US senator. Moreover, I believe a billionaire businessman who has rebounded back from bankruptcy more than once is better equipped to deal with a broken economy and create beneficial trade agreements than a career politician who trades in empty promises and campaign slogans. He has made products. She has made problems.
XII. HERE COMES ISLAM: PROTECTING THE 1st AMENDMENT
Following the worst terror attack in US history on 11th September, 2001, I, along with many others, found myself having to suddenly pay attention to a religion I had always regarded as uninteresting and inconsequential. In the fifteen years that have elapsed since that attack, I have been told by academics, entertainers, and politicians – i.e., the establishment – that Islam is a “religion of peace” and that the 28,135 terrorist attacks which have been carried out by jihadists across the globe in that span of time have “nothing to do with Islam”. Sensing an obvious disconnect, I have devoted a considerable amount of time throughout these ensuing years reading sources from the right, left, and centre of the political spectrum on this topic – as well as primary works on Islamic jurisprudential thought, the hadiths, and the Koran itself. Consequently, I have reached the conclusion that the Islamic religion needs a reformation, renaissance, and enlightenment in order to successfully coexist with the Western world, else the Western world will be forced to abandon many of its own core principles. I am grateful to have been born, raised, and educated in Western values and I believe in the promotion of those values and not their denigration. Hillary Clinton has accepted untold sums of money from Middle Eastern countries with horrible track records on human rights through the nefarious workings of her Clinton Foundation. Even more troubling, however, her associations with groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation – the latter to whom she promised, as Secretary of State, to employ “peer pressure and shaming” in preventing criticism of Islam from Americans – indicate clearly to me that she is not only disinterested in human rights, but specifically holds the 1st Amendment in contempt. As a Western satirist appreciative of the freedom to criticise who and what I choose, I need a leader who supports the 1st Amendment. Donald Trump is that leader. He is a constitutionalist and therefore holds The Bill of Rights as supreme. She is a globalist and views the same document as culturally relative.
XIII. THE UNIQUELY AMERICAN RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS
Along with Donald Trump, I also support the 2nd Amendment and agree with the drafters of the Constitution that its inclusion in The Bill of Rights would provide American citizens the means by which to defend themselves not only against an invading foreign enemy but an encroaching tyrannical government as well. On a purely philosophical level, it should also be self-evident that a gun cannot load and shoot itself in perpetration of a crime. Such an act requires a human agent imbued with motive, as was the case, for example, with the jihadist that massacred forty-nine people in Orlando – a body count that would have been significantly lower had the patrons of the club themselves been armed. By definition, criminals do not obey laws. Therefore, any restrictions on guns will be ignored by criminals to the detriment of law-abiding citizens.
XIV. DISPENSING WITH POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: NAMING THE PROBLEM
To that effect, I also believe it necessary to refer to Islamic terrorism as “Islamic terrorism” and not as any of the vague and inane substitutes put forward by the Obama administration, such as “violent extremism”, “man-made disasters”, -- or, in the case of Nidal Hasan’s 2009 Ft. Hood Massacre – “workplace violence”. Even if such obfuscation conveys tolerance, it conveys an even greater stupidity. This practice insults not only the intelligence of the voting public, but also the reformers within Islam who realise a problem cannot be solved unless people are willing to discuss it openly and honestly. Currently, Islam stands no chance of being reformed from the inside because of the interference of political pundits from the outside. Meanwhile, as Christianity secularises itself out of existence, Islam has politicised itself into a very real arm of Western governmental policy-making. This imbalance needs to be redressed, which will likely happen under Donald Trump and will certainly never happen under Hillary Clinton.
XV. DESTROYING ISIS
Although I recognise that Islamic State is only the latest manifestation of an ideology that propels jihadist movements such as al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Taliban, I strongly support Donald Trump’s promise to “bomb the shit” out of ISIS as well as seize their oil, thus depriving them of the wealth needed to fund their theocratic fascism. Such a strike would be a great rhetorical boost for Western morale, for nothing has been more culturally embarrassing than witnessing the world’s largest superpower sit idly by as a movement more grotesque and barbarous than Nazism has been allowed to metastasise. Donald Trump, of course, is correct in saying that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, through their failed “Arab Spring” policy, are responsible for the proliferation of ISIS. Therefore, I say, let Donald Trump be responsible for their destruction.
XVI. SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: CARNALITY DOES NOT TRUMP CRIMINALITY
Hillary Clinton has done much to destroy the Middle East and discredit American foreign policy in that region, most apparently in her dereliction of duty and subsequent cover-up of the 11th September, 2011 Benghazi massacre. In fact, I had initially assumed that the majority of her 33,000 deleted and bleached emails were related to this particular issue, although I now believe the subterfuge of the numerous Clinton Foundation deals may have figured more prominently. Unless Donald Trump is able to get into office and appoint a special prosecutor, the public may never know what it has a constitutional right to know. I consider a career marked by decades of political corruption and criminality of eminently greater concern than one’s sexual attitudes towards women.
XVII. PEACE WITH RUSSIA
The Obama administration and Clinton’s ongoing neglect to deal with the ISIS situation they themselves have created – in addition to the resultant European migration crisis – have left a power vacuum which is now being filled by Russia. Consequently, Obama’s loose and unverified accusations that Russia is rigging the political system, besides being a hypocritical negation of his own criticism of Donald Trump’s easily verifiable accusations of electoral fraud – coupled with Clinton’s slanderous equation of Putin with Hitler – have amounted to the rattling of war sabres. It is a regrettable truth that sometimes in world affairs, military conflict is necessary when dealing with certain enemies. Russia is not – and should not – be considered such an enemy. We no longer live in the 1960s of the Black Panthers and the Cold War. We live in an age of global jihadism. Donald Trump realises this, whereas Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama evidently do not. Moreover, Donald Trump has promised, if elected, to reach out before his inauguration to strike a deal for peace with Putin and join forces to destroy ISIS. A position I strongly encourage.
XVIII. SCRAPPING THE SHAMEFUL IRAN DEAL
Most importantly, however, Donald Trump will either renegotiate or consign to the rubbish bin. the greatest national embarrassment – out of many – committed by the Obama administration: the Iranian nuclear deal. This was nothing more than a cynical attempt at solidifying Obama’s legacy; one which provided the terrorist-sponsoring state of Iran billions of dollars in unfrozen assets and an even clearer pathway towards obtaining nuclear weapons. A partnership with Russia and the shredding of this agreement will be an instant two-pronged attack against the sort of instability Obama has created and Clinton intends to exacerbate.
XIX. THE ECONOMIC TRUTH ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
After leaving North Carolina, I relocated to San Francisco and managed to carve a name for myself as a satirical comedian, often attacking the leftist hypocrisies I was constantly being deluged with in that municipal bastion of Maoist progressivism. When my son, William Dustin Franken, came out to live with me during his teens, he attempted to find menial work as a busboy for some extra cash. I had to explain, and he soon found out for himself, that the liberal business owners in “sanctuary cities” like San Francisco would never hire him as a busboy because he was a legal citizen, had a social security number, and therefore would have to be paid a decent living wage. Such jobs instead went to undocumented Mexican migrants in order that the exploitative owners could cut financial corners. I was subjected to many political untruths during my time in San Francisco – cop killers like Mumia Abu Jamal were saintly peace activists, the state of Israel was the new Third Reich – but perhaps the most deceptive of these was the reductive sophistry that any argument against illegal immigration reflected contempt for brown-skinned people. Greedy businesses are perfectly content to let this narrative thrive. But illegal immigration has always been at its core an economic and security issue and not a racial one. When both the establishment Republican and Democratic parties are “confused” about what border security means – as they have been for decades – such confusion invariably has something to do with money or votes or both. Donald Trump bears the hatred of the Democrats and the mistrust of many Republicans on this issue, which puts him in good stead with myself and a number of other independent-minded nationalists. Therefore, I agree with Donald Trump’s plan to close off the border, cut off the supply of cheap labour, and in so doing, create a legal path towards citizenship. All this, of course, is anathema to the globalist Clinton’s plans for creating a “hemispheric common market” – or NAFTA 2.0.
XX. REINVESTING IN AMERICAN ENERGY: DEFUNDING THE UN
In 2006, the Al Gore-backed film Inconvenient Truth gave left-leaning politicians a new cause to add to their collection: Global Warming (which, given the various fluctuations in temperatures since its release, has since been rebranded Climate Change). At the time, the cynic in me regarded this as a shady attempt for Mr. Gore to stay politically relevant, still smarting as he was from the highly contested election of 2000. (In fact, Donald Trump’s recently criticised reluctance to honour the results of this current election has an earlier precedent in Gore’s 2000 defeat by Bush.) I believe there is much compelling evidence that shows the science on climate change (nee global warming) is far from settled and any claim to the contrary, from UN bodies or otherwise, completely flies in the face of the scientific method itself. Currently, as things stand, this a problem that may not even be a problem and one that may not even have a solution. Despite the uncertainty, this cause has been forcibly used to raise taxes, put coal miners out of business, and provide a stream of endless funding for one-sided, politically-biased research. Donald Trump’s recent promise to divert billions of dollars from UN climate change programmes to put back into domestic American energy is one that is not only economically sound but – given years of Republican kowtowing to this initially Democratic issue – nothing short of revolutionary as well. And I believe it is in this regard that Donald Trump’s independence from mainstream politics is perhaps most clearly evident.
XXI. INDEPENDENCE FROM THE ELITES: AMERICA’S BREXIT
Following nearly fifteen years of performing comedy in the United States, I relocated to Great Britain, a country whose history, culture, and traditions I value just as highly as those of my native land. I did not move to Great Britain because I sought some nebulous “better” economic life or because I was simply “looking for a change” and felt this country was as good as any other. And I most certainly did not move here because I am enamoured of globalist super-states such as the EU. I have loved Britain from afar for as long as I can remember and, now that I live here, consider myself as much a nationalist for Great Britain as I am for the United States. Nationalism is not synonymous with racism, no matter what the elites would have the voters believe. It is gratitude for the principles and traditions that make Western nations such as Great Britain and the United States entities to be admired and emulated throughout the world. This is why I was very much in favour of Britain’s decision to exit the European Union and begin the process of restoring sovereignty and democracy back to itself. Brexit was a referendum on many things, but it was also a revolution inasmuch as the working classes of this nation – sneered at for many years by so-called experts as uneducated and racist – elected to transfer power away from the corporate elites in Brussels and bring it back home to Britain – such as any proper, functioning Western democracy can and should. Symbolically, it represented the people’s chance to pause and collect their breath before trudging headlong into a progressive globalist dystopia from which the odds of returning were slim if not absolutely nil. Donald Trump represents the same patriotic desire to stop and reflect with gratitude on the inherent goodness of the United States, instead of handing it over to disinterested, third party elites such as would comprise the oligarchic rule of the hemispheric common market Hillary Clinton advocates. America, too, deserves a Brexit and it will assuredly find one in Donald Trump. With the success of Brexit, there was a chance that Western culture and civilisation would survive. With the election of Donald Trump, it will be almost a guarantee.
XXII. DOING IT HIS WAY: THE REALITY CANDIDATE
Throughout my entire adult life, I have been the proverbial odd man out in my chosen fields of academia and entertainment, institutions in which diversity of political opinion is discouraged whilst a herd mentality sycophantically applauds itself. What little success I have earned in my present occupation I owe not to the comedy industry, but in spite of it. Where diversity quotas and liberal groupthink are rewarded and uniqueness and merit are denigrated, I have been forced to carve out my own singular path, for better or for worse. Likewise, I see in Donald Trump a man who has gotten as far as he has in this election almost exclusively by doing everything “wrong”. He has not qualified his statements on terrorism with mealy-mouthed platitudes such as “Islam is a religion of peace”. He has not given lip-service to the ongoing and expensive fraud of climate change. He has been brusque and discourteous to criminal politicians who audaciously demand that political discourse be kept “civil”. He has angered social conservatives by not caring which bathroom a transgender uses and he has angered social progressives for almost everything else. He has given the American public and the world at large the ugly independent truth instead of the sugar-coated sanctimony of the status quo. He has pushed back fiercely and relentlessly against a biased and brainwashing mainstream media. And to those who disagree with his assessment of modern journalism, simply consider the headline Reuters used to describe a thwarted jihadi suicide bombing earlier this year: Syrian Man, Denied Asylum, Killed in German Blast.
XXIII. FREEDOM FROM POLITICS AS USUAL
I am tired, as are millions of others, of establishment politicians. I want Donald Trump in office for many reasons, but mostly because I want to return to thinking and writing about other things and working on other creative projects, of which there are many in the pipeline. And I believe if Donald Trump becomes president, I can open the paper every morning, scan the headlines and, more often than not, pump my fist in the air and say “Right on!” instead of “You sneaky cunt. . .”
XXIV. OPTIMISM IN DEFIANCE OF FAITHLESSNESS
Donald Trump has continuously deflected the ad hominem attacks against his sexual character and, as of this writing, the latest narrative from the opposition seems to be that he never took this election seriously; that he was merely “pretending” to love the people who love him. But this assessment overlooks the fact that, in elections past, he has perennially been put forward as a potential candidate and, barring this current one, has always declined. Perhaps this is just another weak attempt from the opposition to neuter what is actually a genuine revolution: to claim that it’s all been for show. The same cynicism that would hand the nation to Hillary Clinton is the very one that now assumes Trump is simply playing P. T. Barnum.
I was born the son of a hardworking labourer. From kindergarten to eighth grade, I attended a small country school. I was raised in a community against whose traditions I often rebelled as a child, but have long ago come to appreciate as a man. I have been fortunate enough to see many places and do many things in my life and those small-town values have been largely responsible for making me the unique individual I am today – not the groupthink progressive consensus of my pedigreed peers; which would have me unquestioning, watered-down, and ineffective. I live in Britain, but I am from Missouri, affectionately nicknamed the “Show-Me State”. Throughout the course of this election, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have both shown me much. And I choose Donald Trump.